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Athyrium filix-femina spp. asplenioides is often confused with:
Dryopteris carthusiana D. carthusiana
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Phegopteris hexagonoptera Form
Arisaema triphyllum Arisaema triphyllum
Heuchera villosa Form

Athyrium filix-femina spp. asplenioides

Previously known as:

  • Polypodium filix-femina
Phonetic Spelling
a-THEE-ree-um FEE-liks FEM-in-a SUB-spee-shees a-SPLEN-e-oy-dees
Description

Lady Fern is a deciduous fern that features lacy-cut, light green fronds that grow in a dense circular shuttlecock-like clump to 2-3' tall. Common Ladyfern is found growing in meadows, open thickets, moist woods, and occasionally in swamps and is often found in the understory of cedars, firs and hemlock woodlands. It spreads by underground rhizomes and will form a dense ground cover over time.

It is easily grown in sandy or clay loams in medium moisture to wet soil in part shade to full shade. It does best in dappled shade conditions. It will tolerate seasonal flooding, the full sun only if the soil is kept constantly moist and drier soils with regular watering. Divide clumps in spring every few years to reposition crowns at the soil level.

Use this plant as a ground cover for partial to shady moist areas, around ponds and bogs or woodland areas.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems. Shelter from wind to protect fronds from breaking. Fronds frequently become somewhat tattered in appearance by mid-summer.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#heavy shade#deep shade#shade tolerant#shade garden#fern#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#moist soil#well-drained soil#native garden#woodland#fantz#wet soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#heavy shade#deep shade#shade tolerant#shade garden#fern#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#moist soil#well-drained soil#native garden#woodland#fantz#wet soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Athyrium
    Species:
    filix-femina
    Family:
    Athyriaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and Central North America
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , LA , MA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant provides ground cover for Woodhouse Toads and anoles and its parts are used in bird nest construction.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is seldom damaged by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Native Plant
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruit
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    There is little difference between sterile and fertile fronds. The fronds feature a feathery lacey texture with pinnate or pinnatifid lanceolate light green fronds. Each frond contains 20-30 elliptic pinna (leaflets) with pointed tips that are not directly opposite to each other. Each pinna is then subdivided into lanceolate to oblong pinnules (subleaflets) where the brown sori (spores) are found on the underside. The fronds are 2-3 feet long and 10 inches across.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are yellow-green to red-brown with chaffy scales that are light to dark brown
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pond
    Riparian
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Shade Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Frogs
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Rabbits